Last fall I began to ask the Lord for my mission; what was it He was calling me to focus on as a pastor/leader. Accepting a call into full time youth ministry put me in a position where I was surrounded by other pastors more than any point in my life. What I realized was most of these individuals had very defined missions when it came to their ministry and I did not. I could not take on someone else’s mission and call it my own, I knew that would not last, nor be fulfilling. Asking the Lord for my mission began a 9 month journey of conversations, prayer, conceptualizing, and writing up to last Friday. Friday morning I was driving down the road, listening to a podcast by Ravi Zacharias (Faith Under Fire – Christian Ethics in the Workplace Part 2, 3, and 4) and the Lord formed my mission in my mind. “To call every person I encounter to a higher level through identifying and helping them develop their God given gifts and talents.” The funny thing is, we often look for specifics from him, but he gives us a mission we can accomplish wherever we are…
I am not going to go into all the details of the podcast as you can listen for yourself, but I want to give you a taste of my mental journey with Lord as I was listening to Ravi. My hope is that it speaks to you.
Faith Under Fire – Christian Ethics in the Workplace Part 2:
Principle #1 of this series states, “Anything that refreshes you without distracting you from or destroying your final goal is a legitimate pleasure in your life.” In order to understand what is a distraction to my purpose, I must first understand my purpose. That is exactly what my prayer had been for the past 9 months and what the Lord had been revealing to me in this past season of being a Youth Pastor at Daybreak. Through this question he began to formalize my mission in my heart and mind so that I could ask myself a very simple question: what distracts me from my mission? What distracts me from be an amazing father? What distracts me from ensuring my wife knows she is the most valuable and loved woman on this planet? What distracts me from speaking into the lives of those individuals whom God puts in my life?
Faith Under Fire – Christian Ethics in the Workplace Part 3:
Principle #2 states, “Any pleasure that jeopardizes the sacred right of another man or woman is an illegitimate pleasure.” Any pleasure that I partake in that harms or hurts someone else is wrong for me. Listening to Ravi and evaluating my own life I could not help but reflect on times where I have pursued fulfillment in a job (including ministry), spent time with an individual for all the right reasons, but then realized that the time I was away jeopardized the sacred right of my family to have their father and husband present. No thing that brings me personal pleasure or fulfillment is good if it robs my wife and children of the right they have for me to be a godly husband and father…I believe that is sin and I missed the mark in God’s eyes. My past excuses of, “I am just providing the best possible life for my family” is complete and utter bunk! They need me, not the material crap.
Faith Under Fire – Christian Ethics in the Workplace Part 4:
Principle #3 states, “Any pleasure, however good, if not kept in balance will distort reality or destroy appetite.” I have multiple missions in my life; my mission to be the best husband I can be, my mission to steward my children well, and my personal mission. All of these require careful and intentional balance. I cannot get so focused on the individuals God puts in my life to mentor, only to forget about my mission as a father and husband. At the same time I cannot stay at home all day with my wife and kids; although that sounds like fun, we would live in four separate cardboard boxes because we would not like each other very much. Seriously though, God call us to find balance and he gives us many individuals in the Bible who had NO balance (King Solomon is one) and he gives us an example of perfect balance (Jesus).
Back to Friday. After listening to Ravi in the car I arrived at my destination, grabbed a coffee, and sat down to write out the statement. Nine months of prayer and within a 35 minute drive he formed my mission statement. And the icing on the cake; as my friend and I were talking about this journey, he tells me exactly what I need to be doing…and it was almost word for word what I had written down not 2 hours earlier. That is God. He takes an impatient individual who likes to take risks, yet control how the risk happens, then slowly strips him of all his plans. What has he left me with? One step at a time, a mission, and complete and utter confidence that He will fulfill the mission He has called me to.
Pray for purpose…
Live life His way…no distractions, honor other’s rights, and find balance.